Women's Soccer ties RIT (N.Y.) in First Round of NCAA Tournament; advances 4-2 on penalty kicks

Women's Soccer ties RIT (N.Y.) in First Round of NCAA Tournament; advances 4-2 on penalty kicks

By: Andrew Korba

PITTSBURGH (Pa.)--Junior goalkeeper Kimmy Connor stopped two shots in penalty kicks as the Ohio Northern women's soccer team tied RIT (N.Y.) 1-1 but advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Division III Tournament 4-2 on penalty kicks, Saturday afternoon at the CMU Soccer Field.

The Polar Bears now improve to 13-4-5 on the season, while the Tigers conclude their season at 11-5-3.

ONU advances to the second round and will face No. 17 Carnegie Mellon tomorrow at 1:30 pm.

The teams played through regulation and two overtimes with the score knotted at 1-1.

Connor came in to relieve senior goalie Erin Waehner at the beginning of penalty kicks.

Both teams were successful on their first attempts.

In the second round of PK's, Alexa Martinez put one in just past the outstretched arms of Connor.

Sophomore Kristina Klusek would tie things at 2-2, by blasting a shot into the upper right corner.

On the third try, Connor made a diving save to deny Jamie Martinez.

Junior Sami Atkinson would score on ONU's third attempt to put them in front, 3-2.

Connor would stop RIT on the fourth try as well and junior Sara Rutherford knocked home her PK to allow ONU to advance.

"I was definitely pumped up and ready to go," said Connor. "This was my first time being in goal for penalty kicks. I was very confident in myself that I could make the saves."

The Polar Bears had a chance to get on the board in the opening minutes of the game when junior Atkinson took a pass from junior Abbie Schauble.

Atkinson dribbled around the goalie to the left side, but the Tiger defense was able to deny her a shot.

Freshman Hannah Moloney got Northern on the board at the 37:56 mark, when she took a pass from Atkinson and blasted a shot that just got past the goalie.

RIT had an opportunity to score in the early moments of the second half, but a shot by Jenna Jacobsen went wide.

The Tigers would tie things up at 1-1, when Quincey Ornellas took a pass from Martinez and beat the goalie.

ONU had a chance to respond a minute later, but Atkinson's header was saved.

In the 62nd minute, Klsuek stole a pass and fired a shot from just outside the box, but it was saved by Tiger goalie Amanda Murray.

Klusek fired another shot in the 78th minute but it was saved by Murray.

The Tigers had a shot in the 81st minute when Kiana Richards headed a ball towards the goal off of a corner kick, but her shot sailed wide.

RIT had a golden chance in the 83rd minute when Ashlene Potter headed a shot, but Waehner made a nice save by tapping it just over the crossbar.

The Tigers had another chance moments later, but their header sailed high.

Neither team could muster up much offense in the first overtime period.

The Polar Bears were able to knock away a loose ball in the box off of a corner kick in the closing moments of the first session.

Neither team could get anything going in the second overtime as no shots were taken.

Northern would then advance 4-2 on penalty kicks.

"I am happy that we get to go back to the second round," said head coach Mark Batman. "We called on a lot of girls today to get the job done. We had two non-starters make a PK for us and Kimmy (Connor) was very clutch."

Waehner (14-3-5) made three saves on the afternoon, while Murray made three stops for the Tigers.

RIT held an advantage of 9-7 in shots and 11-3 in corners.

"We just battled through some tough parts," Batman added. "We will look to recover quickly and be ready to go for tomorrow."